Two bodies found and eight persons remain disappeared after illegal arrests by military and paramilitary forces in Balochistan


ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION – URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME
Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-168-2010

ISSUES: Arbitrary arrests, disappearances, abduction, military operation and extra judicial killings

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission has received information that in recent days illegal arrests, abduction, killings and disappearances by the law enforcement agencies have increased in Balochistan province after the announcement by the Federal Interior minister that a lesson must be taught to Balochi insurgents by any means necessary. The Frontier Corps, a para military organisation, and the military conducted an operation in the sub district of Mashkay and used helicopter gunships on the civilian areas to destroy the hideouts of insurgents and arrest their leaders.

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The bullet riddled bodies of two student activists were found and around 20 persons are missing following the operation. Two children are also missing after being arrested along with their father from Wahejo town during the search operation. A doctor was abducted from his clinic on suspicion of providing treatment to the injured insurgents and since then his whereabouts are unknown. The ministers and a member of the provincial assemblies held walk outs from the assembly proceedings against the military operation. There are reports that many houses belonging to the activists were burnt during the operation.

CASE NARRATIVE:

Cases of abduction and killing of children by the law enforcement agencies were also reported in the media. On October 18 a young man, Master Abdul Majeed, aged 14, son of Haji Mohammad Ramzan Zehri, a well known trader, was abducted, allegedly by the Frontier Corps, as claimed by his family, and on 24 October his body was found in Koshak river at Khuzdar district. There were bullet wounds on his head and chest. He was an activist of the Baloch Student Organisation Azad and was a student in class eight.

Another student, Master Mohammad Khan Zohaib, aged 14, also an activist of Baloch Student Organisation Azad, was abducted in July by plain cloth persons riding in a black coloured Sarf pickup, which is generally used for abduction by the state intelligence agencies. His bullet riddled body was found In Khuzdar, Balochistan province, on 20 October. His family members claim that he was arrested by the personnel from Frontier Corp (FC) for having links with militants who are fighting for the greater autonomy of the province.

From Khuzdar city of Balochistan, a practicing doctor, Fazal Zehri, was abducted from his clinic by unknown persons on 24 October. His relatives claim that he was abducted by FC personnel who suspected that he was providing medical aid to injured Baloch insurgents at his clinic. His whereabouts are unknown since then. The clinic of the doctor is now under siege of law enforcement agencies.

On 2 October, Mr. Ahmed Dad Baloch of the Republican Party was whisked away by FC personnel with the help of police from Gwadar zero point. Ahmed Dad Baloch was travelling along with his family to Karachi on the Javed Coach. When the coach reached Zero point officials of the state intelligence agencies and police stopped it and Ahmed Dad being was taken off in front of his family and shifted him to unknown location. It is the fifth incident of abduction of political activists from Gwadar, Balochistan, during past some months. Previously, Abdul Rehman Arif, Mahboob Wadhela, Ramzan Baloch, Saeed Ahmed were abducted by the Pakistani military intelligence agencies.

The FC and army conducted the operation in Mashkay to search for the hideouts of Baloch insurgents who are fighting against the military control on their province. The Mashkay is the home town of one insurgent, Dr. Allah Nazar, and to arrest him and his companions the FC searched each house in Mehi, a small town of the district, and arrested around 20 persons and since then their whereabouts are also unknown. It is alleged by the nationalist groups that these people were arrested and tortured to provide the whereabouts of Dr, Allah Nazar and his associates. Meanwhile in Mehi, the birthplace of Dr. Alah Nazar Baloch school teacher Raza Mohammed Baloch, his relatives Adam Baloch, Aziz Baloch, Rasool Bux Baloch. Bashir Ahmed Baloch, a tailor and his two sons of aged 9 and 13 are also missing after arrest.

The ministers belonging to the Balochistan National Party (BNP-Awami), according to the Daily Express Tribune of October 15, staged a walkout from the Balochistan Assembly against what they called a massive operation launched in Awaran district by security forces without taking the provincial government into confidence.

They claimed that the operation had been launched on the orders of Interior Minister Rehman Malik. On a point of order, the Minister for Agriculture, Asad Baloch alleged that security forces have been carrying out massive search operations and undertaking air strikes in Mashkay tehsil of Awaran district for the past two days. The operation was aimed at finding and killing the nationalist guerrilla leader, Allah Nazar, who is supposed to be leading an insurgency in Mekran and Khuzdar divisions. Another minister for Social Welfare, Mir Asghar Rind, said that they are violating the sanctity of homes and insulting the people during their search. The gunship helicopters have also shelled the mountainous areas of Mashkay.

They accused that the Pakistani military forced the shopkeeper to open their shops for searching and some shopkeepers, who were not present lost their shops, as the soldiers torched them. Houses of the members of Baloch Student Organisation (Azad) Fida Baloch, Zahoor Baloch, Haroon Baloch, Mustafa Baloch and Gul Hassan Baloch were burned down. Family members of these students, including women and children, were humiliated in public and severely beaten on the roads.

SUGGESTED ACTION:
Please write letters to the authorities to stop military operation and enforced disappearances in Balochistan province. Please urge the authorities to release all persons who have been arbitrarily arrested, disappeared and held incommunicado by the law enforcement agencies and stop extra judicial killings. Also demand to release the missing children and prosecute the law enforcement personnel who are responsible of abduction and killings of boys.

The AHRC is writing a separate letter to UN special rapporteurs on the Question of arbitrary arrest, enforced disappearances calling for their intervention into this case.

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